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      Ottumwa citizens weigh in on two-way street conversion

      The Ottumwa community attended a public meeting Wednesday night to voice their opinion on the planned two-way street traffic change to Main Street and 2nd Street.

      There has been an effort to convert the main downtown Ottumwa business district back into two-way traffic.

      Under Ottumwa's current storm separation project that's ongoing for the next couple of years, Main Street and 2nd Street will eventually have to temporarily be two-way streets.

      The city wondered if it made more sense to convert the whole corridor now.

      Business owners in the area were vocal about their concerns at the meeting.

      They feared a change to two-way traffic would result in a loss of traffic that would affect their businesses. They also wondered how to cope during construction.

      Ottumwa Director of Public Works, Larry Seals, said this input was critical in their assessment.

      "I think there was valuable input from the citizens," said Seals. "There's no way for us to know what they need for their business. We don't know what they do--how many trucks they get in, the size of their trucks--it's been very good input."

      Business owners will have a second opportunity to share their thoughts at a council work session and meeting before anything is finalized.